Posted by: Louise | September 3, 2010

Favourite Parenting book- Number 2

Ages a go I wrote here about one of my favourite parenting books – Shepherding a Child’s Heart. I have one other parenting book that ranks up there as a top favourite. If Shepherding a Child’s Heart helps you to focus on training the heart and not just the behaviour, then “Don’t make me count to three” by Ginger Plowman outlines how to actually do it. How to bring God’s word into those teachable moments.


I was having one of those weeks with the kids and decided I needed to read it again! I was so glad that I did. Ewan is now at an age where I can really use some of her advice.

I’ve written below some quotes that really stood out to me:

Pg 26 “Biblical Discipline involves love, the heart and God’s Word….. it involves much more than outward behaviour. Biblical discipline gets to the heart of the problem. After all, if you can reach the heart, the behaviour will take care of itself….. We must realize that there is far more to parenting than getting our children to ACT right.. We have to get them to THINK right and to be motivated out of love of virtue rather than a fear of punishment. We do this by training them in righteousness. Righteous training can only come from God’s word.

Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord”. Pg 48 “When we correct our children for wrong behaviour but fail to train them in righteous behaviour, we will exasperate them because we are not providing them with a way of escape”.

Pg 70 “Each time your child fails, don’t view it as a hopeless tragedy. Remember that it would be unnatural for your child not to sin because, after all, he is a sinner…. The question is not “Why does he act like that?” The question is, “What are you going to do about it? Are you going to allow this sin to take root in his heart and grow, or are you going to use this opportunity to train him in righteousness?”‘

Pg 91 “We can tell our children what to put off (sinfulness) but we must remember that it is even more important to tell them what to put on (righteousness), to train them in how to replace that wrong behaviour with right behaviour, and to then have them actually exercise what they have learned.”

There is also a great chapter on communication and tips on how to talk with your child about his/her behaviour (CH3).

Ginger has produced a handy flip chart called Wise Words for Moms (which is equally as useful for Dad’s!). It consists of a chart of verses and how to use when dealing with different behaviours. There are verses for correction and training in righteous. It also has some thought provoking questions to help get a conversation going about the behaviour. This helps to get past the “Why did you just do that” question which nearly always has the “I don’t know” response. I’ve got the chart stuck with a magnet to my fridge!


After reading this book the first time I was so challenged by my need to know God’s word so I can discern the heart issues of my children and what scriptures to use to “train them in righteousness’. It lead me to make up my own chart. It is very much a work in progress, but it was useful for me to take time to think about the issues that my children are facing and how the Bible relates to them. You can download my chart here. If you have any ideas, topics or references to add to it, please let me know!



  1. […] the time we had finished learning the 10 Commandments, I reread Don’t Make me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman. I was challenged about being more creative about training the children in Righteousness and not […]

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